(Fargo, ND) — Our DNA can tell us a lot about our health. That’s why the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program is returning health-related DNA results to thousands of participants nationwide.
The All of Us Research Program partnered with Essentia Health in 2018, and since then more than 3,500 participants have signed up in Essentia Health service areas.
“Our partners here at Essentia who have joined the All of Us Research Program and agreed to share their information are supporting scientific discoveries that would not be possible without this unique valuable resource,” said Dr. Steve Waring, All of Us Research Program principal investigator for the Essentia Institute of Rural Health. “This also represents an opportunity to learn even more about their own health.”
What can participants learn from these results? The “Hereditary Disease Risk” report can tell participants about their risk for serious health conditions, like certain cancers or heart disorders. The “Medicine and Your DNA” report can tell participants if their DNA might affect how certain medicines work for them, including common drugs for conditions like diabetes and depression.
All of Us worked with many experts and organizations to map out the best way to share health-related results. They developed a careful consent process and put in place special privacy and security measures to safeguard participants’ privacy.
The program is also making sure that participants have the support they need. Those who have questions about their results can meet with a genetic counselor. Genetic counselors can answer questions and help explain what the results can and can’t tell participants.
The mission of the All of Us Research Program is to accelerate health research and medical breakthroughs, enabling individualized prevention, treatment and care for all of us. The program will partner with at least 1 million people who reflect the diversity of the United States to build one of the largest, most diverse biomedical data resources of its kind. Data is made available to researchers to drive scientific discoveries into the biological, environmental and behavioral factors that influence health and disease.
You can learn more about the program by clicking here.
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